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Source: World Health Organization (WHO)
1 May 2003




Health Inforum News
Volume 2, No.26, 0l May 2003
____________________________________________________________________________________________________
Welcome to the twenty-sixth edition of the Health Inforum Newsletter.

In our ongoing efforts to provide useful information to the whole of the health community, we
continue to welcome any comments or suggestions you might have to help us improve this
newsletter.

In this Issue:

· Dr. Kamal Al-Shirafi, is the new Minister of Health
· MoH: 58 Palestinians were killed and 510 were injured last April ,2003
· WHO guidelines/recommendations/descriptions regarding the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS)
· National Nutrition and Food Safety Council met on 26 April 2003 in Gaza
· CARE International Delivered Medical Kits, Pharmaceuticals & Medical Equipments last month to Health Stakeholders
· PRCS Weekly Press Release for the period 19-25 April 2003

· Upcoming Meetings.
___________________________________________________________________

Dr. KAMAL AL-SHIRAFI, is the New MINISTER OF HEALTH

Dr. Kamal Al-Shirafi is the new minister of Health in Palestine. He was elected to the PLC in 1996, representing North Gaza. He is a member of the Political Committee and the Monitoring Human Rights and Public Freedoms Committee of the PLC.

Dr. al-Shirafi worked as a surgeon for ten years. He is a member of numerous charitable organizations, including Al-Mizan Center, and the Vice-President of the Board of Trustees of Al-Aqsa University. He was the Vice-President of the Palestinian Physicians’ Association for Human Rights.

Dr. al-Shirafi holds a medical degree and is a certified surgeon (University of Bulgaria), and he holds a diploma in Teaching (Ramallah Teachers’ College).

MoH: 58 Palestinians were killed and 510 were injured Last April 2003

Palestinian Ministry of Health announced that Israeli army killed 58 Palestinians (24 in Gaza and 34 in West Bank and injured 510 (169 in Gaza & 341 in West Bank) during the period of April 1-29, 2003.

/...

National Nutrition and Food Safety Council met on 26 April 2003 in Gaza

Dr. Abed Al-Jabar Tibi, the Director General of Primary Health Care –MoH in Gaza gave a presentation in the last National Nutrition and Food Safety Council.
Dr. Tibi stressed on the following points concerning the nutritional status in Palestine:

1. 60-70% of pregnant women in the third trimester of pregnancy are suffering from Anemia.
2. 60-67% of Palestinian families are unable to purchase food due to economical situation as well as closure and curfew.
3. 26% of children- inadequate intake of calories needed
4. 10-16% children and women- inadequate intake of protein
5. 70-78% of children and women- inadequate intake of iron
6. 15-20% of children – PKU positive, need special food.
7. Wasting: 7.8%, stunting 11.7% - chronic nutrition problem.
8. Iodine deficiency problem solved by iodizing salts.

Dr. Tibi mentioned that the MoH strategy on nutrition:

- Training of health workers (There is no nutritionist in Palestine)
- Classification of foods for inpatients (diabetic, hypertension…)
- Measurements of nutrition indicators.
- Research-Nutrition.

CARE International Delivered Medical Kits, Pharmaceuticals & Medical
Equipments last month to Health Stakeholders
Emergency Medical Assistance Project (EMAP): The goal of the USAID-funded EMAP is to sustain and strengthen the healthcare system in the West Bank and Gaza in this time of crisis by providing medical equipment, supplies and technical assistance and by managing a series of sub-grants that will address emergency health problems and help alleviate the present burdens on Palestinian emergency medical services through the following:
a. Develop the capacity of referral centers in the West Bank and Gaza;
b. Develop a sentinel surveillance system capable of detecting early changes in the health status of vulnerable Palestinian communities;
c. Provide emergency medical equipment and supplies to local and regional health facilities to meet increased demands for emergency services
d. Provide technical assistance for the development of sustainable educational programs in trauma management, emergency medicine;
e. Advise Palestinian communities of health problems that may arise due to the current situation, and how best to prevent and or/address them; and
f. provide temporary financial assistance to Palestinian NGOs currently offering institutional and/or community-based rehabilitation services

The project has started implementation since the beginning of October 2001

h. provide the Palestinian Heath Clinics with Pharmaceuticals and medical disposable kits, The kit's content most of the common chronic diseases including the Cardiac diseases, Diabetics, Anti-Asthmatic and Diuretics. It also includes Antibiotics, Anti-Inflammatory, Analgesics and Gastro-intestinal drugs.

Table No. 1 shows the EMAP Project distribution of Pharmaceuticals, Medical Equipments during April 2003, classified by item, quantity, stakeholder, date of delivery and the total cost.

Item
Qty
Stakeholder
Delivery Date
Total Cost $
Pharmaceuticals
20 Pallets
MOH Ramallah
10/4/03
94631
Pharmaceuticals
15 Pallets
MOH Ramallah
22/4/2003
110,754
Pharmaceuticals
14 Pallets
MOH Gaza
31/3/03
236,350
Pharmaceuticals
8 Pallets
MOH Gaza
3/4/2003
55,605
Pharmaceuticals
2 Pallets
MOH Ramallah
14/4/2003
27,526
Allied Vacuum Pump
1
MOH Ramallah
12/4/2003
24,232
Subtotal MoH
549,098
Coutchs
38
PRCS Ramallah Sub Grants
5/4/03
9310
Osmolite
3 Pallets
BASR Bethlehem Sub Grant
8/4/03
6873
Medical Equipments
18 Items
PFS Yabid Sub Grants
22/4/2003
1,290
Medical Equipment
11 Item
PFS Yabid Sub Grant
31/3/03
5,657
Pharmaceuticals. Medical Disposables
1 Pallet
El Wafa Rehab Sub Grant
31/3/03
3,915
Sub Total NGOs
27,045
Grand Total
576,143

Table No. 2 shows the distribution of kits, to different clinics and the total cost for kits by each clinic during April 2003.
Clinic Name
Kit Type
Clinic Level
Delivery Date
Total Cost $
UPMRC Jifflick
Med.
2
15/4/2003
6,047
UPMRC Maithloun
MED
3
22/4/2003
4,582
UPMRC AL Sileh
MED
2
22/4/2003
1,525
Anabta Al Zakat
MED
2
22/4/2003
1,525
UPMRC Al Zababdah
MED
2
22/4/2003
1,525
SMA Qabalan Med. Center
MED
3
23/4/2003
4,582
SMA Der Debwan Med. Center
MED
2
23/4/2003
1,525
PRCS Silwad Med. Center
MED
3
23/4/2003
4,582
UPMRC Turmos Aia Med. Center
MED
2
23/4/2003
1,525
UPMRC Synjel
MED
2
23/4/2003
1,525
PFS Yabid
MED
2
24/4/2003
1,525
PRCS Dier Abu Meshail Clinic
MED
2
24/4/2003
1,525
PRCS Azmout
MED
2
24/4/2003
1,525
AL Zakat Beta
MED
3
24/4/2003
4,582
AL Zakat Aqraba
MED
3
24/4/2003
4,582
Old City Nablus Med. Center
MED
2
24/4/2003
1,525
Islamic Society Al Tawba
Med/Disp
2
31/3/03
6,301
Guidance Association for Family
Med/Disp
2
1/4/03
6,301
Clinic Name
Kit Type
Clinic Level
Delivery Date
Total Cost $
Al Zakat Agraba
Disp
3
2/4/03
254
SMA Qabalan Med Center
Disp
3
2/4/03
254
UPMRC Turmos Aia Center
Disp
2
2/4/03
254
UPMRC Synjel
Disp
2
2/4/03
254
Al Zakat Beta
Disp
3
2/4/03
254
Doura Municipality
Med
3
3/4/03
6,724
Dahria Municipality
Med
3
3/4/03
6,724
Ateel Society
Disp
2
6/4/03
254
UPMRC Jenin
Disp
3
7/4/03
254
UPMRC Al Zababdeh
Disp
2
7/4/03
254
Anabta Al Zakat
Disp
2
6/4/03
254
UPMRC Maithaloun
Disp
3
7/4/03
254
UPMRC Al Sileh
Disp
2
6/4/03
254
PFS Yabid
Disp
2
5/4/03
254
Total
73,305

PRCS Weekly Press Release for the period 19-25 April 2003

During this reporting period, the Israeli Army continued to violate the First and Fourth Geneva Conventions and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights by denying freedom of movement to Palestine Red Crescent Society (PRCS) ambulances and its medical teams, who suffered humiliation, threats, and verbal abuse. Delays, denial of access, invasions, arrests, and arbitrary searches adversely affected the sick and wounded in Nablus, Tulkarem, Jenin, and Gaza.

Nablus, 23 April 2003 (12:40): An ambulance carrying two patients from Nablus to the Jordanian border was stopped at the Ma'ale Adumim checkpoint. The soldiers at the checkpoint argued amongst themselves about whether or not they should remove a stroke victim from the ambulance. The soldiers pushed the driver and verbally abused him. Despite previous coordination with the Israeli Army District Coordination Office (DCO), the soldiers forced the ambulance to wait for half an hour behind some other vehicles that were going through the checkpoint. After an additional search, which took more than fifteen minutes, the patient in critical condition was removed from the ambulance, although it was very hot outside. The ambulance was then permitted to pass.

Nablus, 21 April 2003 (14:20): On their way to a back-to-back patient transfer at the Shafi Shamron checkpoint, an ambulance crew from Nablus had their IDs confiscated at the Beit Eba checkpoint. The ambulance reached the Shafi Shamron checkpoint to receive the patient, who was suffering from a gunshot wound. At the checkpoint, Israeli soldiers detained the ambulance crew for one hour, confiscated their IDs. The ambulance was permitted to pass after coordination with the International Committee of the Red Cross. When the ambulance returned to the same checkpoint, the soldiers returned the IDs to the crew.

Tulkarem, 20 April 2003 (08:10): An ambulance was stopped at the Qusin checkpoint while transporting patients to Rafidiya Hospital in Nablus. After searching the ambulance and checking the IDs of the staff, the soldiers at the checkpoint refused to give one of the crewmembers permission to pass. The soldiers verbally abused her, and the driver refused to leave her at the checkpoint. The patients left the ambulance and continued on their way to Nablus by taxi. The ambulance returned to Tulkarem.

Jenin, 24 April 2003 (15:30): At the Beit Eba checkpoint, Israeli soldiers detained an ambulance that was transporting two patients from Nablus to Jenin. When one of the EMTs spoke to the soldiers to explain the delicate condition of the patients, the soldiers replied by shooting in the air. In total, 6 ambulances (3 of them PRCS) were detained simultaneously at the checkpoint. All of these ambulances were carrying patients. The ambulances were detained for two hours, with no reason given for their detention.

Jenin, 23 April 2003 (03:30): Israeli soldiers, accompanied by three tanks and many jeeps, surrounded the Dr. Khalil Sulieman Hospital. The soldiers invaded the hospital, verbally abusing some patients and staff, and threatening them with their guns. The soldiers arrested a patient and took him with them. Those who remained in the hospital were traumatized, but not injured.

Gaza, 23 April 2003 (04:00): The Al-Shifa Hospital in Gaza was invaded by Israeli soldiers. The soldiers surrounded the building with tanks and jeeps, and broke the main door to the hospital. They searched the hospital thoroughly and arrested a patient. The invasion lasted for approximately 15 minutes.

For more Information, please visit our website: www.palestinercs.org

Mental Health Workshop

"The mental health status of the Palestinian population and the development needs of the existing services have been the concern for the MoH, the WHO and many donors. WHO has already started two mental health projects to strengthen policy formulation, develop mental health legislation and guidelines for patient's rights, community involvement in the development of mental health services, service integration, evaluation of services and needs etc. A start -up meeting held at Rimal clinic MoH-Gaza on the 5th of May/2003.

Dr Benedeto Saraceno, the director of mental health in the WHO Geneva presented the aims for the project and the development on line. the meeting had been attended by the already formulated steering committee members including the MoH representatives, WHO representatives, Gaza Community Mental Health program, Guidance and Training Center, the Palestinian Red Crescent Society, Italian cooperation and the French cooperation.

Dr. Mark van Ommeren from Geneva and Dr. John Jenkins from UK will participate in the meeting together with the mental health project manager Dr. Henrik Wahlberg".

Upcoming Meetings

1. Health Sector Working Group

Event Date: 12/5/2003,
Time: 11:00 AM
Location: UNSCO- Gaza

Agenda:

1. Opening Remarks by Minister of Health and General Consul of Italy.
2. Update of Health Status:

  • Presentation on health indicates.
  • Statistics on injuries.

    3. Financial situation including the last four years MoH budget in NIS.
    4. Health Sector Review by EC.
    5. Discussion

    2. Thematic Nutrition Group Meeting

    Event Date: 5/14/2003,
    Time: 9:00 AM
    Location: MoH Public Health Laboratory-Ramallah & MoH Al Rimal-Gaza City, Via Video Conference.

    Agenda:

  • Opening Remarks & Review of Agenda
  • Report on Micronutrient Conference, Marakesh, Morocco
  • Update on Draft National Nutrition Strategy-MoH.
  • Nutrition Questionnaire & Discussion -USAID
  • Other Business
  • Closing Remarks-MoH

    3. Health Emergency Coordination Meeting

    Event Date: 14/5/2003.
    Time: 11:30
    Location: Central Public Health Laboratory in Ramallah

    Agenda:

    1. Opening
    2. Update Health Inforum

    Themes:

  • Development approach within the emergency situation / Dr. Fathi Abu Mughli, MOH


    3. Participants' updates.
    4. Any other Business
    5. Closing

    FOR MORE INFORMATION

    Please feel free to contact us for information at:

    Health Inforum,
    c/o the Italian Cooperation,
    Sheik Jarrah, East Jerusalem,
    Tel: 02 532 7447,
    Fax: 02 532 2904
    Email: healthinforum@undp.org
    WEBSITE: www.healthinforum.org



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